FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq

Presidential contender Joe Biden has come under fire for his support for the 2003 Iraq War, but continues to tout his foreign policy experience as a key selling point for his candidacy.

His foreign policy record is shameful, though, extending well beyond his Iraq War vote.

After opposing the Vietnam and first Persian Gulf Wars, Biden in the mid-1990s transformed himself into a leading proponent of humanitarian intervention from his perch as head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

In his memoir, Promises to Keep, Biden touts as one of his two proudest moments in public life his leadership on the Balkan conflict and his pushing a reluctant Clinton administration first to arm Serbian Muslims and then to use U.S. air power to suppress conflict in Serbia and Kosovo.

The Serbian Muslims included Islamic fundamentalists, however, who were prone to chop off the heads of Serbian fighters, and the bombing of Kosovo caused hundreds of civilian casualties while triggering rather than deterring Serbian ethnic cleansing operations.

The end result was to empower the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which had been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department only months before the bombing.

Building off his notorious Iraq War vote, Biden’s shameful record fully materialized during his Vice-Presidency.

In Central America, the former architect of Plan Columbia – a misguided program to arm the Colombian military under the guise of the War on Drugs – championed privatization initiatives, right-wing governments and regime change efforts that were fundamentally neocolonial.

As Obama’s key point man on Iraq, Biden cultivated close ties with Shia fundamentalist Nouri al-Maliki, who aroused and then crushed Arab Spring protests, and later helped ease Maliki out of power in favor of Haidar al-Abadi who was committed to privatizing Iraq’s economy in line with the original goals of the 2003 military invasion.

In Ukraine, the staunchly Russophobic Biden was key point man to the Petro Poroshenko regime which came to power in a February 2014 coup d’états and triggered a war on its eastern provinces that has killed over 13,000 people.

Three months after the coup, Biden’s son, Hunter, famously joined the board of one of Ukraine’s most profitable and corrupt energy companies, Burisma, and then benefitted from his father’s successful blackmailing of the Poroshenko government by threatening to withhold a $1 billion loan if it did not fire the prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin, bent on prosecuting Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Biden has claimed to have opposed the war in Afghanistan and Libya, but in both cases, he promoted a light-footprint approach.

In an October 2011 speech at Plymouth State University, Biden stated that “NATO got it right in [Libya]. In this case, America spent $2 billion and we didn’t lose a single life. This is more the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than in the past.”

If this is indeed the prescription to deal with the world as we go forward in a Biden presidency, God help us all, as Libya thereafter emerged as a failed state which saw huge mass migrations and the return of slavery.

Joe Biden is a sad relic of a corrupt era in American politics that has seen both parties support ill-conceived foreign interventions and wars.

One can only hope that he does not emerge victorious in the primaries, and that his chief rival, Bernie Sanders, more forcefully repudiates his foreign policy record.

More articles by:

Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018) and Obama’s Unending Wars: Fronting for the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2019).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
Jefferson Morley
On JFK, Tulsi Gabbard Keeps Very Respectable Company
Vijay Prashad
Standing Up for Left Literature: In India, It Can Cost You Your Life
Gary Leupp
Bloomberg Versus Bernie: The Upcoming Battle?
Ron Jacobs
The Young Lords: Luchadores Para La Gente
Richard Klin
Loss Leaders
Gaither Stewart
Roma: How Romans Differ From Europeans
Kerron Ó Luain
The Soviet Century
Mike Garrity
We Can Fireproof Homes But Not Forests
Fred Baumgarten
Gaslighting Bernie and His Supporters
Joseph Essertier
Our First Amendment or Our Empire, But Not Both
Peter Linebaugh
A Story for the Anthropocene
Danny Sjursen
Where Have You Gone Smedley Butler?
Jill Richardson
A Broken Promise to Teachers and Nonprofit Workers
Binoy Kampmark
“Leave Our Bloke Alone”: A Little Mission for Julian Assange
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail